Varsity girls water polo loses to Los Altos

Varsity girls water polo fell to Los Altos 4-10 in a home game on Senior Night, Monday, Jan. 29.

As a special tribute to the seniors, teammates gave gift baskets to each senior which included some of their favorite candy and other gifts to remember the team. Head coach Sammantha Lepp read aloud the seniors’ speeches, desired colleges and special dedications. 

At the start of the first quarter, sprinter junior Katherine Sanchez won the sprint leading into the game. After remaining scoreless for the first few minutes in the first quarter, point guard senior Itzel Cabral found an opening in Los Altos’ defense and scored Walnut’s first goal. Los Altos responded one minute later with a goal, bringing the game to a tie. However, Walnut scored again, ending the first quarter 2-1.

“I was pretty excited to play Los Altos because I play club for them, so I know most of the girls along with the coach,” Cabral said. “I was even more excited knowing it was our Senior Night and knowing that we would play our best against them.”

In the second quarter, Sanchez was able to win the sprint again, giving Walnut an early advantage. However, Los Altos scored five consecutive goals despite Walnut’s defensive attempts by goalkeeper senior Kathryn Whittingham, ending the half 2-6.

“It was an easy game that we could have won, but we ended up losing it mentally. We weren’t attacking the goal as much [since] our mindset was bad,’’ wing senior Yaisha Torres said. “The energy at the game was good [all four years of our games]. They have been hard but we came out positive even though we lost.” 

Walnut was able to keep the ball offensively which led to an early goal in the beginning of the third quarter. Throughout the rest of the quarter, both Los Altos and Walnut made offensive pushes. Walnut responded with a goal after Los Altos scored two, finishing off 4-7.

“My favorite moment was how we had much more communication in the water. We were telling each other where to go and calling for the ball more often,” Sanchez said. “Winning the sprints helped and benefited our team because we could have the advantage and [get] more opportunities to score.”

Los Altos’ defense prevented Walnut from scoring in the fourth quarter as the Mustangs made more unsuccessful shot attempts. Los Altos scored three more goals to finish the game 4-10.

“After this game, our coach will help us work on the mental part of the game rather than [the physical] aspect of it so that can have more communication,” Torres said. “We often don’t tell our teammates the plan, and we need to work on the communication and calm down since we have been nervous.”

By Samuel Au, Staff Writer
Photo by Isaac Le